Ladd, Cheryl

Written by Linda Kirkpatrick on .


Cheryl Ladd

1953 -


A product of Minnesota; a graduate of Loretto Heights in Denver with a degree in nursing. She and her husband relocated to Evergreen in 1985 via Grand Junction and Broomfield, looking for the right community feel.  A weekend stay at Highland Haven, complete with Fourth of July fireworks over the lake made for a magical experience that lured them to Evergreen.

In addition to numerous volunteer jobs with Evergreen Newcomers and within the school system while raising her family, Cheryl is best known for having co-founded (with Ann Rader) Drive Smart Evergreen-Conifer, a program to reduce the number of fatalities of teenage drivers and passengers.  The program was formed in 1993, with state and national affiliations; and Cheryl served as President for nine years.

Evergreen High School had experienced numerous teen deaths – a minimum of one per year for at least six years in a row – and Cheryl had been closely associated with one in particular where she'd held the hand of a dying teenager while the girl was pinned beneath a vehicle.  A group of mothers had previously attempted to address the issue with a group called Mountain Area Families in Action (MAFIA), and Drive Smart's success was founded largely on Cheryl's determination not to let down the community.

With the support and involvement of heavy hitters such as State Representative Tony Grampsas, School Board President Jon DeStefano, State Senator Sally Hopper, the Jeffco Sheriff's Department, Jeffco Health Department, Colorado Department of Transportation, the Colorado State Patrol, and the Evergreen Fire Department, studies were done and young people were faced with startling visuals to emphasize the need to be safety conscious.

For several years the main event each year was an all-day traffic safety awareness program for all students called "Life is a Highway ... Drive Smart," at both Evergreen and Conifer high schools. Fundraising offset the $10,000 cost to produce each of the sensational events. The program received national recognition by being showcased on the NBC Nightly News and by receiving one of six regional Nationwide Insurance Enterprise "On Your Side" Highway Safety awards.

In 1995 the program expanded to the junior high school level with a program at both Evergreen Junior High and West Jefferson Junior High in Conifer. It started an "Alive at 25" teen driver education program in collaboration with the Colorado State patrol and Conference Baptist Church. Drive Smart also provided scholarships for high schoolers to take driver education.

Focus shifted to address safety issues at a much younger age level, encouraging children to use seat belts and advising parents to properly choose and install car seats for youngsters.

At Cheryl's initiation (and with Dick Wulf's cooperation and the encouragement of the Evergreen Park and Recreation District) in 1996, the organization started Skate the Lake on New Year's Eve as an alcohol-free alternative for families. The event drew more than 3,000 attendees the first year and has continued as a New Year's Eve tradition since then.

She served on the Jefferson County Sheriff's Citizen Advisory Council for 5 years. Cheryl was in the inaugural class of Leadership Evergreen in 1996 and served as the co-coordinator the second year.

She received a Citizen Commemdation Award from Sheriff Ron Beckman in 1998 and was a recipient of the Mary Fly Foundation Builders Award in 1997. Cheryl was honored by the Canyon Courier in 1999 with the Evergreen Area Community Service Award. That same year she received the "9 Who Care" award from Denver's Channel 9 television station. In 2005 she was selected by the Evergreen Area Chamber of Commerce as Volunteer of the Year.

Cheryl teaches Pilates. She and her husband have traveled extensively around the world.

Source: Cheryl Ladd